Book Review: Itís the Crude, Dude, by Lnda McQuaig


Reviewed by Bruce Rhodes


Now that I have read It's the Crude, Dude, American Dynasty - Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush by
Kevin Phillips, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast, the more recent books by Michael Moore, The Long Emergency by James Kunstler,
Power Down by Richard Heinberg, and Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky, a consistent and disturbing theme
emerges from all of these works, that portrays access to and control of oil as the lynchpin of US foreign policy, to the extent that the Bush administration and a number of its predecessors have engaged in activities deemed by many observers to be uncaring toward democracy, illegal and immoral.

Author Linda McQuaig does an excellent job of providing a detailed history of the emergence of oil as a source of energy over the last 150 years, leading, as this story sadly does, to the domination of oil-rich, typically lesser-developed nations, first by Britain and later by the US. McQuaig provides full commentary on the role of the Rockefeller family as it strove, usually with huge success, to control oil supplies and prices at a near-global level.

The disdain held by current and previous US administrations for energy conservation is described as being disturbing, if not appalling. McQuaig also points at the lazy, complicit media in the US, that have, especially since 9/11, failed to push the government or the public to answer the question: "Why do a growing number of groups of people, especially in the Middle East, detest the US to the point where those groups will commit acts of violence against the US, its interests and its allies?" For me, having read It's The Crude, Dude has helped me to arrive at an increasingly succinct answer to this question. Both the governments and the major oil companies in the US and other 'developed' countries have, in the past, subverted democracy and free markets in the interest of securing access to, if not also control of, large supplies of oil. In this context, sufficient supplies of oil are equated with economic and personal freedom, certainly sacrosanct notions within the American psyche. Energy conservation, by contrast, is regarded as an affront to the US concept of freedom.

I highly recommend this book. It is well researched and, for the most part, well written.

Other reviewers of this book suggest that it is either difficult or impossible to buy It's the Crude, Dude in the US. If this is true, it's quite scary.